A WEST Dorset farm is asking to use some of its land to build timber cabins for tourist accommodation.

Dorset Council will consider the planning application from Bridge Farm, Chard Road at Drimpton over the coming weeks with public comments open until July 17.

The 0.25 hectare site, close to the river, has previously been grazing but is not currently in use. It sits within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is outside the village development boundary.

The farm says the proposed timber buildings would be put on removable groundscrew foundations with a new access, parking and landscaping. Each cabin is designed for two people and for year-round use although the word ‘temporary’ is used in its application.

A preliminary report from Dorset Council says that the site is identified in the Broadwindsor Neighbourhood Plan as a “moderately important local gap.”

Said the planning officer’s conclusion on the acceptability of the proposal: “I am unable to encourage an application given the location of the units on an open green field in an unrelated and isolated location. Furthermore, due to the position of the units within the field and the subsequent incongruous landscape adjustments associated with the units the overall landscape impact within the AONB is likely to be unacceptable.”

The farm says the proposal has been re-designed since those comments were made and will be as “green” as possible with the cabins capable of being removed from their bases, making it easy for the land to revert back to its original state.

Solar panels are being proposed for the cabins with water saving features fitted to both and with the site having a habitat enhancement plan which, it is claimed, will result in a biodiversity net gain.

The farm has operated a converted engine shed for tourist accommodation since 2017 and says the new cabins will help with its diversification plan, claiming: “ The accommodation will bring social benefits by diversifying the existing rural business and the overall proposal represents farm diversification with wide reaching benefits to the site and local area.”

The application says the site is 300 metres from the Royal Oak pub, one of the businesses likely to benefit by their introduction.

Further details of the application can be found on the Dorset Council planning website by searching for planning reference 2023/00747